We were delighted to review a MEEE in Minute book by Sid Madge recently and we hope that this guest post from him is helpful in a world that is feeling rather upside down at the moment…
The impact of Covid-19 2020 has proved a massive challenge for all of us throughout 2020. If we are lucky, we have been able to stay home, reconnect with family and enjoy some serious downtime, safe in the knowledge we have still been paid the majority of our wage. If we are unlucky, we have been anxious, struggling financially and emotionally, or worse we have lost a loved one.
However, amongst the gloomy predictions of Great Depression-like economic slumps, there is hope and opportunity. Opportunity for us, individually and as a society to change and create a better tomorrow and greater balance.
In fact, a recent YouGov survey showed that only 8% of Britons want life to return to ‘normal’ after the virus outbreak is over. 42% of participants said they value food and other essentials more since the pandemic, with 38% cooking from scratch more. 61% of people are spending less money and 51% noticed cleaner air outdoors, while 27% think there is more wildlife. Two-fifths said there is a stronger sense of community in their area since the outbreak began and 39% say they are catching up with friends and family more. We are being reminded of what is truly important and meaningful in our lives. The only question is whether we will head those lessons and insights and use them to create something better or whether we will all go back to the way it was.
There is talk of a ‘new normal’. Apart from the fact that ‘normal’ starts with the word, ‘no’, new normal implies that we are going to have to make some compromises in the new reality we find ourselves in. But what if, the compromise was the way we used to live. Compromising our time with those we love to make money to buy stuff we didn’t really need in the first place. Compromising time with friends and family for work commitments and never-ending deadlines. Compromising our health because we didn’t believe we had the time or inclination to cook from scratch or take care of our fitness. And yet these are the little things that have kept us sane for the last few months. The walk around the local park, or the home-made soup or freshly baked bread – who would have ever predicted there would be a yeast shortage in the UK! The shared family meals, life lived at a slower and often, more enjoyable pace. A bit less anxiety, a bit more love.
Let’s forget about normal or new normal and instead focus on ‘New Balance’. Here are some practical steps to help make this ‘new balance’ a reality in your family life. Share these tips with those around you and help them create the space to turn these into regular habits:
- Take time out, every day to get outside, ideally in nature or a local park. Walk, pay attention to what’s going on around you. Don’t cut yourself off by listening to music, audio books or podcasts. Instead, pay attention to what’s around you, notice the trees, listen to the bird song, witness the change of the seasons. Take this time, even if it’s just a few minutes, to just ‘be’. Listen. Think. Spend time in silence.
- Master your mornings: Start your day from a place of positivity. Prepare the night before so that mornings can include a shared breakfast. Everyone in the family says what they want to achieve that day and takes a minute or two to share what you are already grateful for in your lives. Use that positive start to get into a positive mindset.
- Take ten or twenty minutes out of each day to read an inspirational book. For example, any of the three Meee in a Minute books (life, family and work). Each one has 60 one-minute nuggets of wisdom including life hacks, advice, insights, science, short exercises, and thought experiments to ensure you start the day with positivity and confidence. Another great book is A. C. Grayling’s ‘The Meaning of Things’ which had a profound impact on my life. There are dozens of great books so pick those that resonate with you. Many are also available as audio books.
- Connect with people you care about – friends and family. At work seek to find ways to maintain some of the flexibility that became essential during Covid-19. Honour both the human being and the employee. Find ways to maintain a connection and to find a balance that works for all the important parts of your life. At home, talk to each other, eat together as a family and maintain the strengthened bonds facilitated by the pandemic.
Let’s use the opportunity we have to create something better for our families and also for the wider community that we live in.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sid Madge is founder of Meee (My Education Employment Enterprise) which draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people achieve extraordinary lives.
To date, Meee has transformed the lives of over 20,000 people, from leaders of PLC’s and SME’s to parents, teachers, students, carers, the unemployed and prison inmates.
Sid Madge is also author of the ‘Meee in Minute’ series of books which each offer 60 ways to change your life, work-, or family-life in 60 seconds.